Cyberpunk 2077 update 1.5 brings better AI, reworked perks, and appearance customisation
Plus, new apartments to rent
CD Projekt Red have finally launched Cyberpunk 2077's long-awaited Update 1.5, which for us here on PC means newness including a rebuild of the perk trees, AI improvements, the ability to change V's appearance, new apartments to buy, and loads more. Oh, and Update 1.5 will bring the long-awaited next-gen version to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Xeriex XS.
Cyberpunk 2077 was in a sorry state when it launched in December 2020, riddled with a great many obvious bugs and underbaked systems. CDPR fixed some of the most intrusive bugs with but even today the game feels unfinished. I'm glad to see Update 1.5 will address some of those areas.
So! NPC combat AI is improved to make them smarter and more active, as well as making members of different factions behave differently. NPC pedestrians should feel more alive too, with some being armed and willing to join nearby violence, and crowds less of a fondness for despawning when V turns around. NPC drivers are more lively too, with the new ability to panic and flee when in danger.
Perk trees are reworked, with some bad perks removed and others rebalanced. They most notorious perk getting binned is Commando, which makes enemies unable to detect you when you're underwater—in a game where you might spend only 30 seconds underwater in a full 100-hour playthrough. The Stealth tree has morphed into Ninjutsu too, to reflect its slightly different focus. The perk changes are enough that when Update 1.5 hits, you'll have all your points refunded.
The kinda-useless throwing knives will now automatically return to V's hands after a time, with higher-rarity ones returning sooner. Good. Or you can pick them up manually.
Romances are expanded a touch too, with new messages and interactions, including the possibility of sleeping alongside them in bed.
The long-awaited mid-game appearance customisation has arrived, with options to change V's hair, makeup, and piercings accessible at apartment mirrors. They've also added new makeup styles plus new colours for hair and makeup. This is one of the 'free DLC' bits.
V's home can get fancier too. Along with four new apartments she can buy around Night City, it adds the option to buy makeovers for her Megabuilding H10 home. They've also added mood-building bits to apartment, like lighting incense, playing the guitar, and smoking a ciggy. Apartment activities can give buffs and all. And apparently Nibbles, the cat V tempts into living with her, has some new... stuff? CDPR are cagey about what specifically they've added with Nibbles.
The third freeLC doodad is two new rifles, new scopes, and a new attachment type, muzzle breaks. They're available easily from Wilson's, the gun store in V's apartment building, or as plain ol' drops.
Let's see, what else. The PC version is getting has a benchmark mode, letting you test performance. We're getting an option to walk rather than run everywhere, which I do appreciate as a video game tourist. The economy is rebalanced, with higher cash rewards and lower prices on cyberware and vehicles. And... lots. The patch changes lots.
See the Update 1.5 patch notes for more. It's a big patch, and there is a lot more. It should be out right now on PC.
While I'll likely not replay Cyberpunk 2077 to check all this out until CDPR release a full-on expansion, the patch does sound more like the game Cyberpunk 2077 should have been 14 months ago. Still not the game CDPR suggested it would be, but I don't expect it'll ever be that. But, I like the game it currently is well enough.
"Cyberpunk 2077 is huge, sprawling, complex, and deeply flawed," Graham said in our Cyberpunk 2077 review at launch. "It's at its best as a fairly straightforward singleplayer action game, with likable characters and thrilling capers in a fascinatingly detailed open world that looks better than any game before it. It's at its worst if you want it to be an RPG, an approach-as-you-please Deus Ex successor, or a polished piece of software. I enjoyed my time with it a lot, and I even want more of it, though I'm going to spend years complaining about its flaws. I'll enjoy the complaining, too."